VW and Hamburg will collaborate over the next three years to jointly develop innovative solutions for making urban mobility more environmentally-friendly, safer, more reliable and more efficient.
The cooperation aims to develop Hamburg as a model city for forward-looking, sustainable and integrated urban mobility.
Matthias Müller, CEO of Volkswagen AG, and Olaf Scholz, First Mayor of the Hanseatic City, signed a memorandum of understanding on August 30 in the “Kaisersaal” of Hamburg town hall. Urban mobility concepts and intermodality, traffic control and management, autonomous driving and parking, innovative vehicle concepts and alternative technologies as well as air pollution control are the cornerstones of the partnership. For the Volkswagen Group, this partnership is a further building block in its new “TOGETHER 2025” strategy, for Hamburg it represents an important step in its strategy to develop intelligent transport systems, and in its application to host the 2021 ITS World Congress.
First Mayor Olaf Scholz said: “Here in Hamburg, we want to safeguard mobility for all citizens. At the same time, it is our aim to make traffic in our city cleaner, quieter and safer. Technological progress is the only way to achieve that. What is needed is the resourcefulness and inventive spirit of German industry, and we are seeking to cooperate with leading companies such as Volkswagen. We are reaching out to anyone wishing to collaborate with us on modern mobility solutions in both passenger and freight transport. Anyone looking to test innovative mobility concepts and digital technologies to improve the urban quality of life will find a reliable partner in the city of Hamburg. There is a particularly innovation-friendly climate in our city, and the cooperation with Volkswagen will add to that. My standpoint is: what is invented here must be tested here, too. Made in Germany – tested in Hamburg.”
CEO of Volkswagen AG Matthias Müller commented: “Mobility remains a basic human need – even in the digital age. Constant calls for doing without or banning mobility are not the answer. What is needed is intelligent concepts that make the automobile part of the solution and no longer part of the problem. This is about overcoming old ways of thinking, jointly driving innovation forward, and taking the initiative ourselves rather than waiting for others to go first. As a hub of innovation, Hamburg is already a pioneer when it comes to forward-looking themes such as digitalisation or intelligent transport systems (ITS) strategy. With our ideas and our expertise, we want to contribute to making Hamburg a model city for intelligent transport.”
Innovative urban logistics
In the efforts to improve air quality and achieve emissions-free mobility solutions, the urban transport companies Hamburg-Holstein GmbH and Hamburger Hochbahn AG last month reached agreement with the Volkswagen subsidiary MAN on an intensive exchange in the field of electric bus development.
The Volkswagen Group and Hamburg also submitted a successful joint application for the “mySMARTlife” project funded by the EU. Under this project, the Volkswagen Group will among other things initiate various pilot projects for mobility sharing concepts, such as micromobility applications, community car, and innovative urban logistics concepts in Hamburg’s Bergedorf district.
The German government sees Hamburg as a possible test field for autonomous driving and has launched a funded program for automated and connected driving on digital test fields in Germany. Hamburg and the Volkswagen Group are endeavoring to implement a joint project under this mobility partnership.
Other joint projects will be developed over the coming months. The memorandum of understanding does not bind the parties to an exclusive partnership, nor does it contain any financial commitments.